I sure hope this works, because I have to tell you about the town's most distinguished new arrival. As soon as I'm up to it, we'll head to a place with a good connection and show you a picture.
Well, after the diagnosis of borderline preeclampsia, I had an X-ray. It looked like there was enough room for Junior to conga right on out, so no worries. Off to the hospital at nine Wednesday evening. By nine-thirty, I was settled in a bed with the whole wing to myself, and the dose of (mumble-mumble) was already starting to work.
So THAT'S what a contraction feels like! Not fun, but tolerOUCH! Okay, that was interesting. And it continued to get interesting about every two to five minutes. All night and into Thursday around noon. That's when they brought out the Pitocin, which ramped things up considerably. Poor Himself was, well, beside himself. He watched as the contraction monitor, which had been registering in the fifties, jumped into the hundreds. I heard the occasional whispered "Jesus Christ!", followed by a louder "Okay, it's going away now, it's going away." I honestly think that in his own way, he was hurting as much as I was. He helped me more than he'll ever know, too.
Around eight, it was finally "go" time. They say that it's a relief when you can finally push, and they're right! I threw everything and then some into it, sure that our first glimpse of Junior was not long off.
After an hour, he hadn't budged. The doctor said, "Well, we can keep trying for a while longer, but if he doesn't move after that, we may have to go downstairs. What do you want to do?"
Well, I sure as hell didn't want to have another contraction! On the other hand, I knew what "downstairs" meant. Something in her voice told me that there really wasn't much choice and she just wanted me to feel some semblance of control. It took about ten seconds to decide.
Off to the OR, with Himself trailing along in the wake of the gurney. He couldn't bring himself to come in and watch, and I can understand. When my friend J had surgery for a thyroid problem, her husband paced the halls of the hospital, saying, "I feel like a caveman. 'Mate sick, must kill something!' " Himself was the same way. I'm told he didn't stop moving the whole time.
Another thing I've been told is that after you deliver, you forget the pain. The Man With The Needle told me to sit up, lean forward and put my hands between my knees. One of the nurses came around to steady me. She put her arms around my shoulders and I swear it was a hug to reassure me. THAT was when the pain stopped, even before the epidural. From there, things moved quickly. Everyone talked, telling me what was going on at all times.
"Boy, he's really in there!"
"Yeah, she did some really good pushing. If his head had turned the right way, he'd have shot across the room!"
Pretty soon, I heard the first of the magic words: "The head's out." Moments later, the anesthesiologist gently turned my head to the side and said, "Look over there..." Over there was the most beautiful baby boy I've ever seen in my life, screaming like an angry cougar.
Pain? What pain?
After a quick cleanup and swaddle, they put him in my left arm (since the other one had an IV) and I introduced myself as Mama. Contemplative silence from Little Himself, along with an appraising, wide-eyed stare. 'Oooh, yeah. I know that voice." We continued to stare at each other for several minutes, then they took him out to meet his daddy.
Daddy babbled all the way to the nursery. "LOOK at him! He's CUTE! Wow, he's got toes and fingers! Hey, that's his nose!" And so on.
Skip to today. We came home Sunday, and since then Junior has spent very little time in his bed. More often, his Daddy is toting him around, telling him stories, singing funny songs, or remarking on the many expressions that cross the tiny little face of our boy. He may be Mama's angel, but he's Daddy's boy all the way!
A bit of trivia. Himself has been commenting for months now about Native Americans and women in other countries that stop what they're doing, deliver their babies, and get back to work. "Why is it such a production now?" Ever since Thursday's close call, he hasn't made any mention of such things. At all. He went so far as to thank the doctors and nurses for being at hand when we needed them.
Vital statistics: Light brown hair, dark blue (for now) eyes, long fingers and big feet. He weighed seven pounds, four ounces and measures twenty and one-half inches. Birthday: 24th of April, 2008, at 9:37 pm.
Our thanks to all of you for your thoughts and prayers. The delivery may not have been perfect, but Junior is!